SoP Remote Work Guidelines

TRANSITIONAL REMOTE WORK GUIDELINES


Date Issued: June 28, 2021  |  Effective Date: August 1, 2021


Introduction

The School of Pharmacy (SoP) is committed to providing an exceptional learning and working experience for our students and employees. To meet this commitment, it is expected that the majority of work performed will be done on campus and in person. We believe that a strong, on-campus presence contributes to a positive, collaborative culture and enhances the experience for all members of the community. Specifically, we believe that for the school to succeed as a unit we must recognize the following:

  • An on-campus presence for employees is necessary to retain excellence as a residential pharmacy school focused on teaching, research, and service.
  • On-campus work allows for interactions that build connections, facilitate operational efficiencies and when stewarded properly, promotes community.
  • When done effectively, remote work can provide efficiencies and support employees to do their best work while providing flexibility.

We have also heard from employees that they value remote work for the flexibility it gives them and because it positively impacts their productivity. Other common themes that were shared by employees about remote work include:

  • This arrangement can increase job satisfaction and reduce turnover.
  • It increases the university’s ability to attract and retain talent.
  • Has improved meeting participation and promotes efficiency

The school recognizes the value that remote work can offer to its employees and strives to take advantage of the lessons learned over the past year. We must now work to balance the needs of a residential pharmacy school engaged in instruction, research and service and the needs of the employees participating in that work in an equitable manner.

These guidelines and associated documents outline how the SoP will implement the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy with these guiding principles in mind and, specifically, the request and decision-making process that employees must follow to work remotely. 

Scope

This policy applies to all employees who are in any of the following employment categories:

  • Academic Staff
  • University Staff
  • Limited Employees
  • Temporary Employees
  • Post-Degree Training Appointments
  • Student Hourly Employees
  • Employees categorized as Zero-Dollar Appointments

For Faculty, (CHS, Clinical, and Tenure-Track) and Graduate Assistants (i.e., Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Project/Program Assistants), this policy applies only to out-of-state or international remote work.

Overview

Units with multiple employees approved for remote work are encouraged to establish and communicate a schedule that allows for maximum connectivity between employees within the unit and others in the school. Remote workers will be expected to attend-in person unit, school and university meetings and events, even if they are scheduled to work remotely.

Equipment, materials, and supplies for remote work employees will vary based on the employee’s duties and responsibilities. In general, employees approved to work remotely will be provided a single laptop computer and associated hardware for use in both Rennebohm Hall and at remote locations for performance of their responsibilities, unless additional equipment is otherwise required by the nature of the work performed. Employees with remote work arrangements are generally expected to provide, at their own cost, internet connectivity at a quality necessary to support their work tasks, including the ability to use university-sponsored video conferencing tools.

We expect that the school will continue to learn how best to operate in a way that takes advantage of efficiencies and flexibilities found in onsite and remote work. We will review this policy periodically and update it if needed to ensure that we are incorporating these lessons learned.

Remote Work Request Process

The following process is to be used for remote work requests that follow a regular, repeated schedule. The following process is not to be used for workplace flexibility requests that are sporadic in nature. Workplace flexibility requests are up to supervisor discretion.

SoP employees that currently have remote agreements in place, not associated with the pandemic, will not need to complete this internal process.  Employees and their supervisors will need to complete the campus Remote Work Agreement which will be grandfathered. Going forward, these agreements will be reviewed on an annual basis following the SoP/campus process.

Step 1: Remote Work Application

  1. Employee makes a request to their supervisor to work remotely using the SoP Remote Work Request
  2. The supervisor reviews the request for eligibility considerations using the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy and completes the SoP Supervisor Remote Work Questionnaire. Factors to consider during this review include:
    • Job responsibilities
    • The effective functioning of the overall unit
    • Potential cost savings to the unit/division
    • The needs and preferences of the employee
    • Employee performance
    • Equipment needs, office space and scheduling issues
    • Adverse impact between employees with similar job responsibilities in the work unit.
  3. Supervisors will forward recommendations (approval) and the remote work request materials (Request Forms and Questionnaires) for their employees to the Associate Dean for Administration & Staff who will consult with the Dean. The ADAS will review for equity amongst employees with similar job responsibilities and to ensure that stakeholder impact was taken into consideration. Any questions will be directed to the supervisor for clarification.
  4. The ADAS decisions will be communicated to the direct supervisor.
  5. The employee is notified of the decision by the direct
  6. If an employee’s remote work request is denied or revoked at any stage in the process, they may request a review of the decision by the Dean.

Step 2: Remote Work Agreement

  1. Following the approval of a remote work request, the supervisor and employee will need to fill out the campus Remote Work Agreement so the arrangement is officially on record. The supervisor and employee will outline the following in the agreement:
    • Day(s), number of hours per day, and core hours that need to be maintained;
    • Time frame requested
    • Remote work environment that is appropriate and supportive for successful work
    • Technology requirements (including high speed, reliable internet access and expectations for video attendance in virtual meetings);
    • Duties that will be performed on-site vs. remote (e., events, meetings and other activities for which there is an expectation for in-person attendance);
    • Expectations for regular check-ins during remote work.
  2. Once completed, the online tool will automatically route the agreement to the school for approval and the relevant campus offices if needed.

Post-Approval Conditions

Once the remote work agreement is complete, supervisors and employees should undertake the following activities that will support a more successful remote work experience:

  • Supervisor Training — Resources and support will be provided to supervisors of remote employees to help ensure that the remote work experience is successful for both the department and the employee. In particular, it will be important to learn how to effectively manage both on-site employees and remote employees.
  • Remote Work Evaluation — Supervisors should review with employees the effectiveness of the Remote Work Agreement on a regular basis, preferably during the PMDP process review periods. If there are any performance concerns related to the remote employee or the performance of the department as a result of remote work, the supervisor can modify or revoke the agreement as long as the employee is provided with reasonable notification. If a supervisor modifies or revokes a remote work agreement, the employee may request a review of the supervisor’s decision by the dean or the director of the employee’s unit, as provided in the UW–Madison Remote Work Policy. As the end date approaches for an existing agreement, the supervisor should work with the employee to make any changes, renew the agreement, or terminate the agreement and send updates to SoP HR.

Guideline Contacts

Jenni Regan
Manager, Human Resources
jenni.regan@wisc.edu
(608) 890-0317

Liz Funk–Smith
Associate Dean for Administration and Staff
efunk@wisc.edu
(608) 890-2434